Does Your Income Reflect Your Skills and Position? 4 Things to Consider

Have you been feeling undervalued by your employer recently? While most people believe they should get paid more, very few know how to negotiate a higher salary effectively– or even calculate a reasonable salary. That’s why we’re here to help.  

 In this guide, we discuss the factors that can impact your salary. Next, we go into how to determine a fair salary range for your position, including tools like a salary calculator that can make the process even easier. We even provide a few salary negotiation tips so you can ensure you’re getting paid what you deserve. Keep reading to learn more! 

What Factors Can Influence Your Salary? 

Employers consider a variety of factors when determining the salary for open positions. They must first think about their company budget to see how much they can afford to pay a new hire. They may take a look at the average salary for similar positions. The location of the company can impact salary, too. In cities and metropolitan areas where the cost of living is higher, wages may also be higher. 

 Then they evaluate the specific experience and qualifications of each applicant. Employers may place different values on particular characteristics depending on what they’re looking for in an employee. Some factors that can affect your salary may include: 

  •  Education: Higher levels of education typically translate into higher pay. So, someone with a Ph.D. will likely be paid more than someone with a high school diploma. 
  • Experience: People with more job experience can expect higher salaries. 
  • Career Level: Salaries for entry-level positions are generally lower than for mid-and senior-level jobs. 
  • Skill Set: Having unique or specialized skills that are relevant to your field can increase your salary. Skills like project management, being bilingual, and having advanced knowledge of specific software can make you a more valuable employee and increase your salary. 
  • Certifications: Licenses and certificates can also add value to your application and increase your income.  

Determining a Fair Salary Range 

It doesn’t matter if you are currently looking for a new position or you’re worried that you’re being underpaid at your current job. The first step to getting paid what you’re worth is to figure out what a fair wage would be. To do so, take the following factors into consideration.  

Your Current Salary and Position 

To start, take a look at your current salary and job position. Review your employment documents to verify your annual salary. You can use a salary calculator to determine your take-home pay after taxes. Review your original job description and the requirements of the position as well. Does the original description still accurately describe your current responsibilities? If you’ve taken on more responsibility within the organization since you were first hired, your pay should reflect that.  

Job Skills and Strengths 

Consider your unique strengths and what you add to your workplace. Your salary should reflect your experience level, knowledge, and education. You can ask for higher pay if you’ve obtained an advanced degree, have years of experience in your field, and have specialized licenses and certifications.  

 A specialized skill set can also increase your value on the job market. Review some job descriptions for roles similar to yours to determine which skills and certifications are most sought after and highly valued. With this information, you can better gauge how much your unique skill set can increase your salary.  

Average Wages for Your Position 

Next, see what other people are getting paid for jobs similar to yours. You can check out salary review websites like Indeed or Glassdoor. These websites can also provide you with salary information of the other people working at your current or prospective company. You should also review the average wages according to labour data from the Canadian government. Use the Job Bank’s Trend Analysis tool to search for your occupation and compare wages. You can view average low, median, and high hourly wages for the entire country or broken down by province.  

Financial Needs and Retirement Savings 

Wage data and your CV aren’t the only important factors to consider. When figuring out a fair salary range, you should also take your personal financial needs into consideration. Consider the cost of living in your area, your monthly expenses, and your financial goals.  

 You can use a payroll calculator to figure out how much you need to make after taxes to meet your financial needs. Take into account your long-term financial goals, like buying a house or saving for retirement too. Consider how much you’d like to set aside from every paycheck to reach these goals. An RRSP calculator can help determine how much you can set aside for retirement each year.  

Does Your Income Reflect Your Skills and Experience? 

Using the steps above, you should have a better idea of an acceptable salary range for someone in your position with your experience and skills. In addition, A salary calculator, RRSP calculator, or payroll calculator can help you determine how your current income stacks up.  

 If your current income is within the fair range, but you’d still like to earn more, you can increase your value on the job market by learning new skills and gaining certifications. But, if your current salary doesn’t quite reach the acceptable range, it may be time to ask for a raise or move on to new opportunities. 

 If you’re searching for a new job or trying to get a raise at your current position, check out these helpful negotiation tips so you can get paid what you deserve. 

 Have your fair salary range in hand, and be prepared to explain why you deserve it. Talk about the skills, experience, and value you bring to the position. 

  • Be confident. How you carry yourself during negotiations can play a big role in their outcome.  
  • Practice ahead of time. Plan out what you’re going to say and practice in front of a mirror or with a friend. 
  • Know when to walk away. Saying “no” is never easy, but remaining committed to your goal is important so you can get paid what you should. 
  • Be grateful. Always try to remain appreciative of the employer, even if you can’t reach a suitable agreement. 

 Are you fairly compensated for the skills and job experience you have? With online tools like the salary calculator from Paycheck Guru, you can determine what is a fair salary for your position and see how your current paycheck measures up. 

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